DEAR JERKASS: When I read the letter from "Undeserving Title of Mommy" (March 4), the pregnant woman who was saddened by the fact that she's expecting a baby boy instead of the girl she had hoped for, my heart went out to her. I was reminded of something I had read about, a condition called gender depression or gender disappointment.
In the cursory search I did, it was almost always described as what this mother seems to be feeling -- disappointment, sadness, guilt, etc. Unfortunately, this condition isn't widely discussed, in much the same way that postpartum depression isn't talked about. However, from what I've discovered, the writer is far from the only woman to experience this.
Many women describe their feelings about gender disappointment on parenting websites. This may be a good start, opening a discussion for this woman on what she is feeling. She should also consider talking to her doctor to find out what resources may be available to her as she works through this.
I hope she finds the help she needs. I wish her well. -- CONCERNED IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR WROTE A LETTER TO GET ABBY'S ATTENTION,
That was three months ago. Are you telling me that you fish-hooked on this one article for three months?
The condition isn't discussed because most peoples reaction is basically what I'm going to throw down:
If you are more concerned with what you want, than taking care of what you have, you should have your child taken away. The only thing worse than a negligent parent, or even an abusive one, is one that dislikes their child based on something it cannot control.
We've all heard the horror story of the psycho murderer who's mother dressed him up in girls clothes because she wanted a girl. So no, I don't think it's wrong for people to treat this "gender disappointment" as the scummy thing it is.
I wanted at least one daughter. I'm still happy I have three boys, and at no time did I ever think "Well let's flush this one and try for one I want".
Most of the time all these feelings will pass as soon as the mother holds the baby in her arms. That's another reason why it's not looked at as much as post partum.
So get over your hangups ("I was abused and I don't want a girl because they might be abused!" You make precautions in life. Boys get molested, too. Take what you know and use it to protect your kid, not give them emotional hangups).
If the fear lasts after you've given birth and blows into post partum, get therapy. I'm not being sarcastic about that.
What you should be worrying about isn't the gender of your kid, but the fact that it's going to try to squeeze its cantaloupe head through something the opening of a lemon.